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München, Germany

Gross J.,Maastricht University | Woelbert E.,Maastricht University | Zimmermann J.,Maastricht University | Okamoto-Barth S.,Maastricht University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Humans can choose between fundamentally different options, such as watching a movie or going out for dinner. According to the utility concept, put forward by utilitarian philosophers and widely used in economics, this may be accomplished by mapping the value of different options onto a common scale, independent of specific option characteristics (Fehr and Rangel, 2011; Levy and Glimcher, 2012). If this is the case, value-related activity patterns in the brain should allow predictions of individual preferences across fundamentally different reward categories. We analyze fMRI data of the prefrontal cortex while subjects imagine the pleasure they would derive from items belonging to two distinct reward categories: Engaging activities (like going out for drinks, daydreaming, or doing sports) and snack foods. Support vector machines trained on brain patterns related to one category reliably predict individual preferences of the other category and vice versa. Further, we predict preferences across participants. These findings demonstrate that prefrontal cortex value signals follow a common scale representation of value that is even comparable across individuals and could, in principle, be used to predict choice. © 2014 the authors. Source

Lybbert T.J.,University of California at Davis | Zolas N.J.,Center for Economic Studies
Research Policy | Year: 2014

International technological diffusion is a key determinant of cross-country differences in economic performance. While patents can be a useful proxy for innovation and technological change and diffusion, fully exploiting patent data for such economic analyses requires patents to be tied to measures of economic activity. In this paper, we describe and explore a new algorithmic approach to constructing concordances between the International Patent Classification (IPC) system that organizes patents by technical features and industry classification systems that organize economic data, such as the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) and the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC). This 'Algorithmic Links with Probabilities' (ALP) approach mines patent data using keywords extracted from industry descriptions and processes the resulting matches using a probabilistic framework. We compare the results of this ALP concordance to existing technology concordances. Based on these comparisons, we discuss advantages of this approach relative to conventional approaches. ALP concordances provide a meso-level mapping to industries that complements existing macro- and firm-level mappings - and open new possibilities for empirical patent analysis. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Sarker D.,Center for Economic Studies
Economic Affairs | Year: 2011

The Forest Rights Act 2006 was designed to provide secure property rights to the forest dwellers of India. This paper analyses the effect of the legislation and finds that it has proved largely ineffective at meeting its objectives. There is evidence to suggest that the implementation of the Act has been undermined by bureaucratic interests. © 2011 Institute of Economic Affairs. Published by Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. Source

Andersson F.,Office of the Comptroller of the Currency | Garcia-Perez M.,St. Cloud State University | Haltiwanger J.,University of Maryland University College | McCue K.,Center for Economic Studies | Sanders S.,Duke University
Demography | Year: 2014

Casual observation suggests that in most U.S. urban labor markets, immigrants have more immigrant coworkers than native-born workers do. While seeming obvious, this excess tendency to work together has not been precisely measured, nor have its sources been quantified. Using matched employer–employee data from the U.S. Census Bureau Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) database on a set of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with substantial immigrant populations, we find that, on average, 37 % of an immigrant’s coworkers are themselves immigrants; in contrast, only 14 % of a native-born worker’s coworkers are immigrants. We decompose this difference into the probability of working with compatriots versus with immigrants from other source countries. Using human capital, employer, and location characteristics, we narrow the mechanisms that might explain immigrant concentration. We find that industry, language, and residential segregation collectively explain almost all the excess tendency to work with immigrants from other source countries, but they have limited power to explain work with compatriots. This large unexplained compatriot component suggests an important role for unmeasured country-specific factors, such as social networks. © 2014, Population Association of America. Source

Becker R.A.,Center for Economic Studies | Pasurka C.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Shadbegian R.J.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management | Year: 2013

This paper examines whether the impact of environmental regulations differs by the size of the business. We consider the net effect of statutory, enforcement, and compliance asymmetries by estimating the relationship between plant size and pollution abatement expenditures, using establishment-level data on U.S. manufacturers from the Census Bureau's Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) survey and from its Annual Survey of Manufactures and Census of Manufactures. We model establishments' pollution abatement operating costs (PAOC) per unit of economic activity as a function of establishment size, industry, state, and year. Our results show that PAOC intensity increases with establishment and firm size. © 2013. Source

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